Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our Fifty Minutes

It is another Tuesday, and another chance for my students to work with the Adobe Photoshop, even if we only are able to access the computers weekly for this project. It is getting better, but there are still a lot of questions in how to get on the program. How do I bring a picture up on my screen? How do I change the filter? How do I write on the picture? How come I can’t write on this page? They have forgotten about the layers. So far we have about three photographs that have been altered for each student. The frustration is not from the student’s questions. The more we repeat the process the more likely they will remember it in the future when I am not there to answer their questions. The frustrations are in how slow the computers are. We must lose 15 minutes of valuable computer time in just turning the computer on and booting them up. Plus the time lost waiting for the computer to complete a command. We only have 50 minutes once a week to work with the computers. Since these aren’t our computers we have to take time to save our work on a jump drive for the next week, and upload our previous work to the computer when we start. Even with these frustrations it is well worth the time to give the students the chance to work with a different type of software program. One most do not have access to at home at the present time. It gives them a look at different possibilities in technology. So far my students have had experience with word, powerpoint, publisher, a literacy program Start to Finish, and now Adobe Photoshop. The present goal for my students is to have an album of photographs for each student to give as a gift to their parents for Christmas. We have done our own photographs, photos online, and next it will be to find photos to be scanned from home.


  1. Tari,
    It’s great to hear that your students are given a bit of time to work on the computer and play with different software programs. However, it is unfortunate that the computers are dated and a lot of time is lost trying to get them up and ready to go. Is there any way you can go in and turn on the computers before hand or perhaps have the computer tech do that? I can sympathize with you when you talk about students not fully understanding the program and students are confused and have many questions. Nevertheless, remember with time and practice this frustration will dwindle. Today, for example many of my students are confused although I do their assignments with them on the projector but I have to be patient and understand that many of my students have no prior experience with technology. For example, many do not have computers at home. I can recall learning adobe Photoshop and remember being frustrated a lot; adobe is not that easy to navigate. I just took all of the workload one day at a time. I am glad that you are giving students the opportunity to work on technology in order to further develop their computer skills.

  2. Tari,

    It sounds like you have made good progress with your students. I know what you mean about time lost. It made me think again about what I have said before...computers don't always save time. However, the opportunity for the students to present a photo album to their parents at Christmas time is possible because of the technology and software we have available. This is a skill that they can use for personal pleasure or for a job, perhaps.

    I know that this experience for them will be one that they remember well into adulthood. That thought alone can keep you in the positive frame of mind. Keep up the good work! :)

  3. This sounds like a really fun project for your students! I think it is wonderful that you made it into a gift for their parents, rather than just more "busy work" for them to do!
    It's nice that you have 50 minutes a week in the computer lab. My class only gets 30 minutes a week, inless we can steal open lab time before another class does! :)
    I hope that your stuents will appreciate the skills you are teaching them, rather than seeing it as just another assignment!
    Best of luck to you!